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A day in the life of… Aaron Burrell, mobile underwriter, Family Building Society

My alarm goes off…

…too early; one minute past 5am. It takes a good hour and a half to get me, my wife and my two-year-old son ready to leave the house.

I am an early riser as I like to get organised for the day ahead. In the spring and summer it’s fine, but it’s not much fun in the depths of winter.

I can’t leave the house without…

…my laptop and work phone, I’d be lost without them, except on weekends!

I get to work by…

…foot or by bus, depending on the weather; I prefer to walk as this gives me some quality thinking time. Our head office is in Epsom, Surrey.

After checking in at work, typically I prepare a mortgage offer for final approval and finalise my agenda for the day.

I then walk to Epsom railway station, about 10 minutes away, and head up to London.

The main purpose of my job is…

…to inform and advise some of London’s leading mortgage brokers about the products and services the Family Building Society has to offer.

We are a niche lender, specialising in lending to older borrowers and first-time buyers, and take a common sense approach to underwriting.

I’ve often been
referred to as ‘a BDM with a mandate’

Applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, which allows brokers to help their clients buy a home or raise finance against their current home.

I’ve been in this role for… 

…two-and-a-half years but I’ve been an underwriter with Family for four years.

I joined from… 

…a firm of estate agents in nearby Surbiton.

My typical day… 

…involves responding to emails on the train to London.

I usually visit two London brokers each day, handling enquiries and providing AIPs and underwriting applications. I also phone the other London brokers I look after and manage my new business pipeline. Lunch is usually a quick bite and a tube journey to the next broker.

People may not know that I’m responsible for… 

…managing the relationships the society has with the brokers I look after. I’ve often been referred to as ‘a business development manager with a mandate’. I see myself as representing the society on the front line.

A common misconception about my job is… …that underwriters like declining applications.

That is not true. We’re here to help brokers, and by being in their offices we can help and support them when queries arise on a day-to-day basis.

My favourite work memory is… 

…my first mortgage expo in London. We were there for two days and once the brokers heard there was an underwriter on site an orderly queue formed.

I had some weird and wonderful enquiries and the meal the organisers put on afterwards was excellent.

A perk of the job is… 

…working with a great team, both at head office and with our team of BDMs in the field. It makes the job easier and more enjoyable when colleagues and managers are easy-going and happy to help.

The freedom I enjoy on a daily basis is the real perk, as far as I’m concerned. My duty is to the brokers and their clients. As long as they are served, everyone is happy.

To unwind after work I like to… 

…cook dinner for my wife and, after that, relax and catch up on some TV.

My role in five words is…

…varied, surprising, rewarding, enjoyable and hectic.


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